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Old 10-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default Peterson tries to end Steelers’ 100-yard streak

Peterson tries to end Steelers’ 100-yard streak

By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer 2 hours, 36 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP)—They’ve met with their coaches, watched tape, talked among themselves. The Pittsburgh Steelers still aren’t certain how they’re going to do it.

Shut down Brett Favre(notes), who remains one of the NFL’s prolific passers? For certain, that’s a worry.

To beat the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings (6-0) on Sunday, the Steelers (4-2) understand their top priority must be finding a way to slow down Adrian Peterson, something no opposing game plan or defensive scheme has accomplished this season.

Peterson’s 624 yards rushing lead the NFL, and his 5.16 yards per carry average through 36 career games is the highest in NFL history at that stage of a career. Barry Sanders had a 5.12 average and Jim Brown had a 5.07 average, according to Stats LLC.

In Minnesota’s other two games against AFC North opponents, Peterson gained 180 yards against Cleveland and 143 yards against Baltimore. He gained 85 yards or more in four of Minnesota’s first six games.

“It’s double trouble,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior(notes) said Wednesday. “It’s probably going to be the toughest matchup that we face. They’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback, the best running back in the league, one of the best offensive lines. They’ve got the total package.”

Calling Peterson the NFL’s best running back is insufficient, according to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

“Arguably the best football player in the world right now is Adrian Peterson,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers aren’t backing away from the challenge. They are No. 2 against the run, and limited No. 2 rusher Chris Johnson of Tennessee to 57 yards and No. 3 Cedric Benson(notes) of Cincinnati to 76 yards—the most by any opposing back against them this season.

The Steelers haven’t allowed an 100-yard game in their last 24 regular season games, or since Fred Taylor(notes) ran for 147 yards during the Jaguars’ 29-22 victory on Dec. 16, 2007. The Steelers were No. 1 in defense the last two seasons and were No. 2 against the run last season.

This will be the Steelers defense’s first big test against an elite runner without defensive end Aaron Smith(notes), one of the NFL’s top run stoppers. He is out for the season with a right shoulder injury.

“I just think we’ve got to do a good job wrapping (Peterson) up, tackling as a team, not expecting one guy on this team to tackle him by themselves,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley(notes) said. “I feel like if we hit him as a unit, he will go down.”

It normally takes more than one tackler to slow him, Woodley said, because the 6-foot-1, 217-pound Peterson is so adept at running through arm tackles.

Then again, he excels at running through entire teams. Peterson has 3,725 yards rushing since 2007, or 529 yards more than any other player. He also has 1,216 yards, a 135.1 yards per game average and 11 touchdowns in nine games against AFC teams.

“He hits the holes with speed,” Woodley said. “Once he sees it, he hits it. It doesn’t take him long to get it started. He’s got great footwork. He’s powerful and he’s just a combination of everything. It’s hard to tackle a guy like that.”

Tomlin sees something else, too.

“The (video) tape says he’s ridiculously competitive,” Tomlin said. “He doesn’t turn down challenges. He does a lot of things well, even when the ball’s not in his hands.”

Because Peterson creates so many problems, it proves distracting to defenses that already must worry about Favre’s long-proven ability to complete passes under pressure and to improvise when a play breaks down. Sidney Rice(notes) had a career-high 176 yards receiving as the Vikings rallied to beat the Ravens 33-31 on Sunday.

“You can’t focus on one thing,” Woodley said. “If you focus on the run, Brett Favre will beat you downfield with guys like Sidney Rice. If you focus on the pass, Adrian Peterson can run the ball. You have to balance it out and maybe try to stop both.”
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Peterson tries to end Steelers’ 100-yard streak

I just hope we are to the challenge. Peterson is a great running back and if we can shut him down then we can stop anyone. We won't be able to focus just on Peterson we still have to contain Farve. It will be a interesting game come Sunday.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: Peterson tries to end Steelers’ 100-yard streak

It's definitely gonna be a challenge
Especially with A Smith out-----The other DEs need to step up

AP's a Beast---no daht abaht it

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... I firmly believe that any man's finest hour...is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Peterson tries to end Steelers’ 100-yard streak

My 2 biggest concerns on the Vikings offense is Peterson and Shiancoe. If we can hold Peterson to below 100 yards I really like our chances on Sunday.
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